I have to say something here about Governor Schwarznegger and his blather about getting two NFL teams in the LA area. Excuse me, Governor but there
is already one team in southern California - the Chargers - and there is no evidence on the record to say that the NFL actually needs another team
there let alone two more teams there. What kind of a grandstand play is this? The Giants' head honcho, Steve Tisch, responded to this outrageous
suggestion in beautifully tactful terms, 'I'd be shocked if the suggestion internally to recommend two teams ever comes up. I think the numbers are
too big; I think it would be an overwhelming suggestion.'
Translation: The Governor needed to make a splash to get some positive publicity and that's really cool, but this idea was dead before it came out of
his mouth. And because he said this so diplomatically, he should get consideration for Secretary of State in whatever administration comes into
Washington in 2009.
Just an observation here, but lots of politicians have been screeching about immigration policy and reform over the past several months on both sides
of the issue. Governor Schwarznegger has absented himself from that debate. Isn't that interesting?
Back to NFL economics. The league would like to have the world believe that when they deign to bestow their Super Bowl on a community, that is the
best thing ever to happen to that community. Well, that may or may not be the case. My formal study of economics is limited to be sure - but it is
not zero; I actually took two courses in economics in my academic career and I got an 'A' in both of them. Even so, I don't profess to be
knowledgeable enough to make all of the analyses necessary to make a thorough argument here. But some data that have shown up in the press recently
makes me wonder if having the Super Bowl is such a good deal after all.
In February and March of this year, the Michigan Treasury Department reports an increase in the sales tax receipts for the entire state of 2%. Even
if you ignore completely any inflationary factor in that number, the increase to the coffers of the State of Michigan - not merely the City of Detroit
- is in the range of $20-22M. Statewide, the increase on the special taxes levied on hotel rooms increased by 0.6%. That translates to less than $2M
for the State of Michigan.
The NFL would like everyone to believe that when they bring their traveling circus to town it brings multiple hundreds of millions of dollars to the
local and state economies. If that's true, then everyone at this year's Super Bowl must have been sleeping, drinking, renting cars and eating across
the border in Canada. So, maybe Toronto should be bidding for a Super Bowl sometime in the near future?
Here's what the Super Bowl brings to a city; it brings a lot of positive publicity and news coverage. That's it. Maybe the added revenues collected
by the local folks with regard to added sales taxes and added income taxes on the bars and restaurants amounts to a few tens of millions of dollars -
I'm being REALLY generous here - but the real benefit is that people speak kindly of the venue. Hell, even Detroit got positive publicity from the
event and that happens about twice a decade for that metropolis.
NBC announced that Sterling Sharpe will be a studio analyst for them during the next NFL season. Here is what all NFL fans need to fear. Imagine if
Sterling Sharpe and Michael Irvin get into some kind of macho face-off where each one tries to out shout the other one. If that happens, I will be
investing in whatever company is the industry leader in the manufacture and sale of earplugs.
Here's an item that is not news. AJ Burnett is still on the DL. This guy spends more time on the DL than a guy with dysentery, giardia and food
poisoning spends on the can. In his brief career, he's been on the DL almost 2.5 seasons. And now doctors are saying that there is nothing
structurally wrong with his arm; it merely causes him a bit of pain when he throws. The Blue Jays are one month into a five-year deal worth $55M. My
guess is that the powers that be in Toronto are not real happy about this.
Steve Howe died as a result of a traffic accident last week in Riverside, California. It was reported that his pickup truck rolled over and he was
'ejected' from the vehicle because he was not wearing a seat belt. Now I see that according to an autopsy, the cause of death is not known and
toxicology samples have been sent for analysis and it will be at least 8 weeks until the results come back. Where is Chuck Barris when we need him;
someone needs to bang the gong here. He was in a truck that rolled over and he was 'ejected' from the vehicle. Isn't that sufficient to end the
matter and put this troubled soul to rest? Will the toxicology report lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden or end world hunger? I doubt it.
Oscar de la Hoya is fighting Ricordo Mayorga this weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After the fight, he has hired an Elvis impersonator to marry
him and his wife yet one more time. The last time he was in Vegas to fight, he remarried his wife then too. I once suggested this exact scenario -
minus the boxing match - to my long-suffering wife; I even said she could select the Elvis impersonator who would conduct the ceremony. What did that
get me? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Once again, my thinking was simply ahead of its time...
The Memphis Grizzlies got swept in the playoffs for the third year in a row. That's not good, obviously. However, for the final game of the series,
only 15,104 folks bothered to show up and that left more than 3,700 empty seats for a playoff game. That's not good! That does not augur well for
pro basketball in Memphis. But I'm sure David Stern can explain how this was actually the best thing that could have happened to the NBA brand
Kwame Brown is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. That's a bit surprising because nothing about his on-court demeanor or play would
indicate any aggressive tendencies. No one knows what happened that night - just as no one knows what happened in the Duke lacrosse situation; the
police say they haven't even interviewed Brown yet. But I haven't seen any of the outrage spewed out against the Lakers as a team even though two of
their players - 16% of the roster - have been alleged to sexually assault women. Where's the outrage? Where's the prose with the thinly veiled
socio-political commentary? Where is the pressure for Phil Jackson to resign since he oversees an obviously out of control team? What venom is there
to be spewed on the Lakers franchise as an elite club for economically advantaged men? Does anyone expect the Rev. Jesse Jackson to come to the aid
and comfort of the woman making the accusations here? Interesting, isn't it? Oh, just to make sure you understand, I have no idea if Kwame Brown did
what the papers say he has been accused of.
There is a report out there that Sidney Lowe will be the new coach at NC State. Good luck to him in that gig; his participation on the 'Jim Valvano
Miracle Team' will earn him about a two-year grace period with the Wolfpack fans, so maybe he'll last four years on the job. Herb Sendek left in part
because he had been pilloried by the NC State fans for being 'bland', 'aloof' and 'not famous' Sendek has to be laughing himself silly about now out
in Arizona - assuming that he actually does have a sense of humor which he never shows. NC State is at best the third most prominent program in North
Carolina and it might be fifth. The school and its backers desperately wanted to hire a 'name coach' who would 'make a splash' and 'bring fame with
him to the job'. They got turned down by everyone they pursued and now they seem to have settled on Sidney Lowe whose head coaching experience in the
NBA (Minnesota and Memphis) produced a cumulative record of 79-228. If the batteries in your calculator are dead, that means his teams won 25.7% of
their games. This is not looking good, Wolfpackers...
Finally, a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
'Clinton Portis told a Washington radio station he committed to the University of Miami while at a strip club during his official visit. Cannot
confirm UM plans to issue a release stating Portis only stopped in to ask directions to church.'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...